In Memory of Denis Klimenko



Photo courtesy of Dr. Hector Zapata, Associate Vice Provost for International Programs.

We at LSU International Programs would like to take a moment to remember Denis Klimenko. Denis was in route toward his PhD in Petroleum Engineering at LSU when he suddenly faced a heart attack and passed away on September 15, 2017. We sat down with Denis’ mother, Oksana, and friends to grasp a deeper understanding of what type of person he was. His mother, Oksana, described him as someone who had high expectations for himself and strived to be the best he could be. He was kind, reliable and resourceful. She added that he would have received his PhD when he would have been 27 years old, which is very young to receive such a degree. He wanted to stay and live in the United States; and raise a family here. His friends, Darina Pugacheva, Denys Maksymov and German Abzaletdinov, spoke about how much he was loved, genuine, funny and hardworking. German Abzaletdinov mentioned how Denis struggled like everyone in his PhD program but persisted and did everything himself. No one helped him get to where he was; he left Moscow on his own not knowing anyone and not afraid of the difficulties he might face.

To help with funeral costs a GoFundMe was set up on his behalf. A total of $30,000 was raised within five days to help cover the costs. Darina Pugacheva described the impressive donation amount as, “the magic of Denis” and “not what we expected.” Oksana explained that the people of LSU and Baton Rouge were kind, responsive, communicative and good. They were very helpful from start to finish. The message she wishes to leave with us is that life is short and can end at any second. Do everything you love now, do not wait and put it aside. Denis will continue to be in our thoughts here at LSU International Programs and his memory will always be kept alive.